Local Information

September 19, 2016
HONG KONG
Hong Kong, population 7.3 million, is a city of energy! It is international – a city of East and West blending together. However, do not be mistaken, Hong Kong is truly a Chinese city with ninety six percent of the population ethnic Chinese, two percent Filipino, Indonesian, Indians, Pakistanis and Nepalese, and the other two percent is everyone else.

Hong Kong’s official languages are English and Chinese. Cantonese is most commonly spoken; however, Mandarin (known as Putonghua in Hong Kong), the official language of China, is also widely spoken.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is fantastic. There is a wealth of free, excellent information for travelers. You may visit HKTB’s homepage at www.discoverhongkong.com. One of your first stops at the Hong Kong International Airport (www.hkairport.com) should be the tourist information center (open from 7:00 to 23:00). The main HKTA office is located in the Central District at 99 Queen’s Road Central – about a 10-minute walk west of Star Ferry pier and Central MTR station. In Hong Kong, you may call the HKTB Visitor Hotline (852 – 2508 1234).

 

TRAVEL
Entry Requirements
A valid passport is the only document most attendees will need to enter Hong Kong. Keep your passport in a inconspicuous, safe place, and carry your passport with you. If you lose your passport, immediately contact the nearest embassy or consulate and the local police. If you plan for a trip to mainland China, you’ll need a visa. Visa’s can be obtained in Hong Kong –(one photo and 3 working days). Travel Service issues China visas for HK$150 or HK$300 to process within 24 hours. Citizens of most countries may visit Macau without a visa.

Air
Hong Kong International Airport is one of the largest and most modern in the world. There are more than 40 airlines from around the world that fly into the airport at Chek Lap Kok. HKIA, referred to as Chek Lap Kok, is well marked and employs a very helpful staff. Carriers to Hong Kong include: Asiana, British Airways, Canadian, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, Continental, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Northwest Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.

Check-in & Boarding
You will need to check in at least two hours before departing from Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok (www.hkairport.com). If you plan on taking the train to the airport, you may check your luggage at the Airport Express Railway station on Kowloon or Hong Kong Island. For this wonderful, time-saving service, you will need to check in at least three hours in advance. The Airport Express is convenient in-town check-in. You may check your luggage, get your boarding pass, and pay the departure tax while still on Kowloon or Hong Kong Island. Check in as early as possible and bring your government-issued photo I.D. to the airport – your passport is best. Some people check in early in the day and board the train later on.
Please remember to retain your Hong Kong entry slip that you receive from the customs official at the passport control. You will need to return this slip of paper when you present your passport on your return flight home.

CLIMATE
Hong Kong is a subtropical location. Summer (June to August) is hot, humid and sunny, with occasional showers and thunderstorms. August has the highest average rainfall of any month. Temperatures usually exceed 30°C during the day, which, coupled with a high humidity, can result in an extreme heat index. Nights are also warm with an average minimum temperature of 26°C. Hong Kong is frequently hit by typhoons in summer.
<www.weather.gov.hk>
GETTING INTO TOWN
Airport Express: This is the quickest and most efficient way to get to downtown Hong Kong. After you pass customs and enter the hall, this station is straight ahead. The trains run every 10 minutes and take about 20 minutes to reach Kowloon Station. One-way fare to or from Hong Kong Station (Central) is HK$100; and to or from Kowloon Station, HK$90. Round trip tickets (valid for one month) cost HK$180 for Central and HK$160 for Kowloon. (Enquiry: 852-28818888) < www.mtr.com.hk>

Bus: This is a convenient and comfortable way to access to major locations in Hong Kong and Kowloon. The buses on the following five routes run at frequent intervals and the fares are competitive. For further details of the transport to/from the airport, please visit http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/transport/to-from-airport/bus_from_hkia.html

Routes Destination Operating Hours Fare (HK$) Service provider Remarks
“A” Routes – Airbus Services
A11 North Point Ferry Pier 0610 – 0030 40 Citybus  
A12 Siu Sai Wan (Island Resort) 0600 – 0010 45 Citybus  
A21 Hung Hom Station 0600 – 2400 33 Citybus  
A31 Tsuen Wan (Nina Tower) 0600 – 2400 18.9 Long Win  
A41 Sha Tin (Yu Chui Court) 0600 – 2400 22.3 Long Win  
A35 Mui Wo 0625 – 2330 15/25* New Lantao *(Mon-Sat) $15,
(Sun & PH) $25
 
“E” Routes – External Bus Services
E11 Tin Hau MTR Station 0520 – 2400 21 Citybus
E21 Tai Kok Tsui (Island Harbourview) 0530 – 2400 14 Citybus
E23 Tsz Wan Shan (South) 0530 – 2400 18 Citybus
E42 Sha Tin (Pok Hong) 0530 – 2400 13.9 Long Win
 
“N” Routes – Overnight Bus Services
N11 Central (Macau Ferry) 0050 – 0450 31 Citybus  
N21 Tsim Sha Tsui (Star Ferry) 0020 – 0440 23 Citybus  
N31 Tsuen Wan (Discovery Park) 0015 – 0515 21.6 Long Win  
 
“S” Routes – Shuttle Bus to Airport
S1  Tung Chung MTR Station (via Passenger Terminal 1) to AsiaWorld-Expo * 0530 – 2400 3.5 Citybus / Long Win *Circular
S64  Tung Chung Yat Tung (via Cargo & Catering area) to Passenger Terminal 1* 0908 – 2400**/
0815 – 2400***
3.6 Long Win *Circular
**Mon to Sat
***Sun & PHs
 
“R” Routes
R8  Lantau Link Toll Plaza (via Inspiration Lake) to Hong Kong Disneyland * 0600 – 0005 7 Citybus / Long Win *Circular

Taxis: They can take you to anywhere from the airport. But you need to get the red taxi when going from the airport to urban areas. For a red taxi, the minimum fare is HK$22 for the first 2 kilometers. Additional fare of HK$1.60 is chargeable for every 200 meters thereafter, and the same is charged for waiting time per minute. After the chargeable amount has reached $78, the charge for every subsequent 200 metres or part thereof is HK$1.00. Taxis also charge HK$5.00 per piece of baggage. Taxi passengers using the Lantau Link are required to pay an additional toll fare of HK$30, and additional fares are also charged for using toll tunnels. It takes about 30 minutes to go to The Hong Kong Polytechnic University from the airport. The approximate fare is HK$235.

For further details of the transport to/from the airport, please visit http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/transport/to-from-airport/taxi.html

 

CURRENCY
The Hong Kong dollar ($) and the cent are the units of currency. The dollar is divided into 100 cents. Bills come in denominations of 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20, and 10 dollars. Coins are 10, 5, 2, and 1 dollar and 50, 20, and 10 cents. Bank notes are issued by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, the Bank of China, or the Standard Chartered Bank.

Credit cards taken are usually American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa.

There are many automatic teller machines throughout Hong Kong, and they are reliable and safe. They offer a wide range of services. To draw money from a Hong Kong ATM with either a credit or a debit card, you must have a four-digit personal identification number – be sure you have that before traveling to Hong Kong. Exchange places charge a fee (inquire as to the amount) for changing money and cashing traveller’s cheques.

You can exchange currency at the airport, hotels, banks, and with private money changers. However, banks will probably provide you with the best rates. (You may want to get a bit of local currency before you leave your home to avoid lines at airport exchange booths.)

 

VISA REQUIREMENTS
To check whether you need a visa to visit Hong Kong or not, please visit http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/visit-transit/visit-visa-entry-permit.html